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Eddie Hearn: We’ve done all we can to make Joshua-Wilder

Deontay Wilder’s decision looms, and Eddie Hearn says no more can be done to make Joshua-Wilder a reality.

Anthony Joshua v Alexander Povetkin - Press Conference Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Deontay Wilder is set to make an announcement on Tuesday at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, and we know part of what’s coming.

We know that Wilder (40-0-1, 39 KO) will next defend his WBC heavyweight title against Dominic Breazeale (20-1, 18 KO), his mandatory challenger. Since the presser is happening in Brooklyn, we can be roughly 99.8% sure that Wilder-Breazeale will take place at the Barclays Center, where Wilder has headlined three times already.

But we don’t know an exact date — May 18 has been the most widely-reported target — and most important, we don’t know who will broadcast the event.

Wilder has been an Al Haymon fighter his entire pro career, and he’s been a cornerstone star for the PBC brand. The early talk was that Wilder-Breazeale would air on Showtime pay-per-view, still in the PBC family.

Top Rank tried to lure Wilder over to the ESPN side for strong money, angling to set up a Wilder-Tyson Fury rematch later this year, but Deontay’s team turned that down. But then DAZN entered the game, and reportedly offered Wilder $50 million for two fights, with the hope of eventually setting up the mega-fight with WBA/IBF/WBO titleholder Anthony Joshua.

So the question on Tuesday — the big one, at least — is simple: DAZN or PBC?

Wilder appeared on the Spence-Garcia pay-per-view last night, speaking with FOX’s Kate Abdo. He didn’t really tip his hand. Sure, it’s encouraging for PBC that he was at their show and on the broadcast, and the first instinct would be to assume that he’s staying put. And if I were leaning one way or the other, my gut tells me that’s what he’s doing, or he wouldn’t have been featured on the show.

But he also said he feels he made the best decision for himself and for the heavyweight division, and frankly, that would be going to DAZN for the massive money, and to set up the Joshua fight. Of course, boxers say all kinds of absolute nonsense, so going by the history of the sport, that might not mean anything. It would be a frankly indefensible statement for him to stay under the PBC TV banner and claim that’s what’s best for the division. With PBC, his highest-profile available fights are Breazeale, a rematch with Luis Ortiz, and, like, Adam Kownacki. No offense to Adam Kownacki.

Anyway, Joshua’s promoter Eddie Hearn, who is behind the bulk of DAZN’s boxing content, was not involved in the Wilder/DAZN meetings, because Hearn and Wilder’s team don’t exactly get on famously. But Hearn feels there’s nothing more that could have been done to make Joshua-Wilder a reality:

“I am not going to say much until I know for sure. I’ll have a lot to say on Tuesday. I feel like we’ve done absolutely all we can. But again, I think less is more at this stage. Our job is to deliver the undisputed fight. It’s been frustrating and I think people are beginning to see the truth. But again, I’ll be quiet for now and let that truth unfold.”

Now if you want to read between the lines here — and why not, it’s fun and we gotta talk about something — it sounds like Hearn may know what Wilder’s decision is, and it doesn’t sound good for the status of Joshua-Wilder. The “people are beginning to see the truth” bit reads as Hearn saying Wilder is avoiding Joshua, which would mean no DAZN deal at this time, and no increased likelihood of getting the heavyweight unification.

On Tuesday, we’ll know for sure.

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